isc-dhcp: should we start phasing it out?
andreas at canonical.com
Mon May 16 17:34:30 UTC 2022
isc-dhcp client is no longer actively maintained upstream. The
server still is, but upstream is clearly favoring the Kea project
This blog post from 2018, which announced that 4.4.x was going to
be the last series, says:
The 4.4 branch will be supported indefinitely – as long as there is
enough financial support from the user community to cover the costs of
The download table at  still has no EOL date for the 4.1.x (ESV)
and 4.4.x series.
Alternatives that come to mind are:
- kea, of course (from ISC). dhcp server only.
- dnsmasq (for small installations?), also server
- systemd-networkd itself obviously does the client part
isc-dhcp is such a classic that it is undoubtedly referenced in many
places, so phasing it out might be difficult. On the server, Kea is
not a drop-in replacement.
We also have the udebs, but with subiquity being the installer now we
probably don't need to worry about these anymore?
rdeps at https://people.canonical.com/~ubuntu-archive/germinate-output/ubuntu.kinetic/rdepends/isc-dhcp/
Removing isc-dhcp would also allow us to reduce the need of old compat
src:bind9-libs package, probably even drop it.
Could we perhaps start with phasing out the client, get its rdeps to
use alternatives, and then stop building it, and eventually get to the
server? This could be a lot of work, as I said, isc-dhcp is a classic,
but if upstream is shifting its focus elsewhere, soon we will be
On current kinetic:
$ reverse-depends isc-dhcp-client
* ifupdown [amd64 arm64 armhf ppc64el s390x]
* ifupdown-ng [amd64 arm64 armhf ppc64el s390x]
* madwimax [amd64 arm64 armhf ppc64el s390x]
* isc-dhcp-client-ddns [amd64 arm64 armhf ppc64el s390x]
* libguestfs0 [amd64 arm64 armhf ppc64el s390x]
* network-manager [amd64 arm64 armhf ppc64el s390x]
* ubuntu-minimal [amd64 arm64 armhf ppc64el s390x]
* walinuxagent [amd64 arm64]
$ reverse-depends isc-dhcp-server
* isc-dhcp-server-ldap [amd64 arm64 armhf ppc64el s390x]
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